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Manzano Day School

Private | PK-5 | 469 students


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Living in Albuquerque

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $217,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $690.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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35 reviews of this school

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Posted November 14, 2013

My son attended from k through 3rd grade. We are filling out applications for middle. These apps are asking for current Math/ English teachers names and email addresses so that they can be contacted them for recommendations. My reason for leaving, kids are grouped math ability starting at 2nd my son tested into the "highest" group, in third grade I he "tested" into the one of the middle groups, and the kids go through trimester testing to determine placement.At the 2nd trimester his teacher informed me my son should move down a group All this time he was achieving nearly 100% on tests and class work.Just after the last trimester test at I told the teacher that I hope my son would be able to enter Academy she replied that his math ability was not up to their standards I was shocked based on his in class math scores and demanded he be moved to the more competitive math classes, he was begrudgingly moved up two classes and earned an A . The teacher disconnect between his placement test and course work and how could I trust her valuation of my son to the middle school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 17, 2012

Paying for 2 children in this school is not easy, but I pay every month knowing that I am sending them to a place where not only are learning, they are being truly cared for. I have been a Manzano parent for 4years, and it has definitely exceeded expectations academically. The teachers we have had are like family to us. I have an over achiever as well as a standard student, and I feel like they have both been pushed beyond their comfort level. They both adore going to this school, and thank me often for sending them there. Manzano Day school sets the educational foundation that will set my kids up for a lifetime of success.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 18, 2012

I spent the first couple months my daughter went here looking for some reason to yank her out and NOT pay for her education. I couldn't find even one tiny reason not to send her here. It is a wonderful place. She thrives. We pay, but really what investment is more important?
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 24, 2011

Our son was at Manzano Day School last year for kindergarten and we had a wonderful experience there. We had to move this summer out of state. When we were searching for a new school in the spring, we truly realized how special MDS is. The program is not for all children but our son thrived in the structured environment and traditional education model. He absorbed so much from the enriched learning activities. We felt like the curriculum was well thought out, not only for his year but year to year. Our son loved sharing his new knowledge from school and we loved seeing the joy he had teaching us new facts. He was excited about learning and that was really important to us. His teachers were kind, smart and professional and our family had a wonderful working relationship with them. There seemed to be the right balance of traditional academics, electives and recess. MDS is expensive and that limits the families that can go there. We were pleasantly surprised at how fun and down to earth most of the families were.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 23, 2011

Just to clarify, my review today listed me as a teacher, but I am a PARENT of children attending MDS.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 23, 2011

First of all, let me say that if your child doesn't or hasn't attended Manzano Day School, you cannot accurately and honestly rate the school. There is no such thing as a perfect school, and MDS may not the right school for every child, but it is the right fit for our family. When my kids were little, I heard great things about the school, but I took it upon myself to look into public, private and Christian schools that were within 10 miles of our house. I didn't want to like Manzano, but I was blown away at the open house. Fourth graders were showing us around the school, and were so respectful and articulate. I didn't want to have to pay for private school tuition for my kids, but when you see the beautiful campus and all the resources the school has to offer (including the teachers of course), you have no doubt where the money goes. Yes, there are some "wealthy" families that go to this school, but there are also 2 parents working families that rely on financial aid to help them pay for school. It's the diversity among the families of this school that help make it so great. We value a well-rounded education while providing a nurturing, safe environment for our kids.
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted August 2, 2011

I would never send my child to this school. First, the place is completely gated, and gives the impression of a prison. Second, the woman at the reception desk was extremely rude to me, commenting negatively on my dress (which was modest, but not "dressy") when I was simply inquiring whether there were any open positions I could apply for in the future. Obviously this school is elitist and judges people interested in the school on their appearance. I'm sure the children hate her, too.

Posted December 24, 2010

There are no perfect schools, not even close to perfect schools in Albq, and Manzano is just another (more expensive) one. They do integrate the arts better than most schools, which is nice. Having required chorus is a real bonus for singers. However, the top students are competitive (rather, their families are, which trickles down to the children); many kids get outside tutoring in math to try to stay in the top; and the writing program doesn't emphasize enough grammar, punctuation or spelling. But, it's a good school for a certain type of social community. The campus is also beautiful.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 25, 2010

My child just finished preKindergarten year and we are impressed beyond our expectations. Our daughter loved every day. By the end of the year she had acquired skilled in reading, Spanish, and computer. I had tried previously to get her interested in Spanish to no avail. But somehow at Manzano she was inspired to learn Spanish better than I did in high school. She now corrects my pronunciation! Also my child tends to be shy and not expressive. Her class had "Show and Tell" every week. When her day arrived each week she was too shy to "present" something to her class, yet her teacher never pressured her. Finally after a few fun poster projects, she actually got up in front of the class and talked about her topic. She progressed further than I imagined, and in a fun, nurturing environment. She loves manzano and so do we!!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 30, 2010

i have essentially nothing positive to say about my child's experiences at manzano day school except that he made some good friends. my son was there for three years; he left to attend a public school and was truly unprepared for his grade level. it has taken him months to catch up, but he has caught up (finally) and is even excelling. manzano is well below average for teaching the writing skills; their math program is terrible. the kicker is that we paid an outrageous amount of money to manzano, assuming that they were at least teaching him something, but apparently not. in my opinion pretty much every other private school in albuquerque is a better place to send your kids. by the way, i read through the other reviews and suspect that people affiliated with the school or the board are padding them--blocks of reviews left on the same day?
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 28, 2009

When we moved to Albuquerque, we looked at many of the private schools as well as our local public options in the Northeast Heights. Manzano Day School was by far the best choice. After 5 years at the school our opinion has only grown stronger. The school's philosphy is to educate the whole child, not only excellence in academics, but also instilling the respect, responsibility and integrity expected in a person of good character. Their ability to deliver on this philosphy is evident when you interact with any MDS student. We wholeheartedly recommend this school as a great investment in your child's future.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 11, 2009

This is the fourth year my son has attended Manzano Day School and he is very happy. I, also, am very pleased with the school and its numerous and varied attributes. The teachers have all been excellent, as well as the support staff, and administration. The sense of a community and caring demonstrated by all of its faculty and parents is truly unique and special. I think it is a great privilege to be part of such a wonderful and positive grade school. This is a private school and the tuition is not inexpensive, however, I believe it is a good investment. I recommend this school, with no reservations, to anyone interested in finding 'the best' grade school in the state of New Mexico.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 11, 2009

Manzano Day School offers a rich, loving, and academically well-rounded environment for our children. I believe that if a child develops a true love for learning early on that they will carry this love of learning with them throughout life. My children demonstrate pure joy in their academic achievements daily and I truly believe that Manzano Day School has given them this valuable gift.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 10, 2009

Our family is enjoying its fourth year at Manzano Day School and we couldn't be more thrilled with it the environment and education it provides. Our children love going to school, what they are learning, and their teachers. We are a family who has to make a conscious choice to spend the money on private education (as opposed to those who can afford it easily) and I can honestly say it is the best money we could possibly spend on our childrens' futures. Yes, the facilites are lovely, but it's what happening inside the classrooms that makes it worth it. Addressing a previous post, the school does ask for contributions, but are very clear that even $5 helps, they use family contribution percentages to help receive other funding. I have never been pressured about the modest amount we are able to give. Manzano is truly a joy.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 2, 2009

Our child is a thriving second grader at Manzano Day School. He has attended since pre-K. He continues to excel and truly enjoys learning. We are impressed with the consistently high quality teaching, educational format, and stimulating learning environment at Manzano Day School. Especially in these economic times, we are completely confident that our investment in Manzano Day School and the students' education is our single most important investment. We are grateful for our collaborative experiences at this very special school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 18, 2009

I cannot say enough good things about Manzano. It is a wonderful school filled with wonderful teachers, parents and children. The head of school is stellar. The facilities are beautiful. Both of my children attended MDS and both will tell you that their educational success and love of learning can be traced back to their days at Manzano. I read the previous review and although I respect their opinion, I truly feel like they must be talking about a different school. I certainly do not understand their suggestion to look at the public schools as we rank near the bottom of the country (sometimes as low as 48th) in school performance. Do your homework!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 2, 2009

My child spent several years at Manzano, and I wish I could get my money back. It was a giant disappointment academically, socially and emotionally. We ultimately transferred our child to a public school. I would encourage anyone considering Manzano to take a long look at your neighborhood public schools or, if you have to go private, Sunset Mesa instead. The culture of 'money money money' is palpable; it is written into the Parent's Handbook that all parents are expected to donate to the school beyond the tuition (and you will be called several times a year to make sure you do it). The campus is beautiful and they claim to be a nonprofit, but all the money is going back into superficial upgrades and not into improving the quality of the education they offer. We found it to be weak academically. In short, Manzano is absolutely not worth the money.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 5, 2008

Manzano Day School is by far the best elementary school in Albuquerque. The school continually exceeds my expectations. The faculty is extemely dedicated to providing a learning experience that is challenging and rewarding for the child and the parents. The administration is hands-on and provides the support the teachers and parents need to make sure each child reaches their full potential and achieves their own personal best. 'Joy in Learning' is not just a slogan - it really exemplifies the core values and directives of the school. We are thrilled and lucky to be a part of the Manzano Day School community.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 5, 2008

The school does an adequate job of preparing students for middle school academically but no better than alot of other schools. Their reputation is based more on social status than true academics. Given the cost, the school needs to deliver more. From reputation, I had assumed that there would be an environment of encouraging hard work and academic excellence, but it seemed that there was more emphasis on fitting in socially than doing well. The administration did not respond to issues of student misbehavior that disrupted the classroom, except in extreme circumstances. Students were never penalized for late work or even for failure to turn work in. Some of the extracurricular activities were good (with the exception of Spanish which is taught too infrequently for any real language acquisition), but all in all my impression was mediocre.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 4, 2008

I would easily rate this school 5+ stars. I have been a parent at Manzano for 4 years. The truly embrace Joy In Learning. My children are learning amazing things and love school. What else can you say about a school when your children LOVE to go to school!
—Submitted by a parent

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About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 57% 26%
Hispanic 21% 59%
Two or more races 15% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 3% 10%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2% 1%
Black 1% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab

Arts & music

  • Choir / Chorus

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 a.m.
School end time
  • 3:30 p.m.
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
  • Before school
School Leader's name
  • Neal Piltch
  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian
  • NAIS
Fax number
  • (505) 243-4711


Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
School leaders can update this information here.

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School culture

Parent involvement
  • Our school has a very active parents' association and parents are welcome on our campus.
More from this school
  • Our school is a member of National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and accredited by the State of New Mexico and Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS).
School leaders can update this information here.



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Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Albuquerque Academy
Sandia Prep
Bosque School
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1801 Central Avenue Northwest
Albuquerque, NM 87104
Website: Click here
Phone: (505) 243-6659


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